Our work / We're making the National Digital Platform and associated services

Core Infrastructure

Underpinning all our work is the National Digital Platform. The platform is made up of a series of core building blocks. These include a cloud-based clinical and care data repository. The means by which health and care staff as well as citizens are authenticated. A master patient index with associated demographic information. With these and some other components, we can start building applications and support other projects. 

Read more about what the National Digital Platform is made of

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Right Information at the right time

Ensuring that health and care practitioners have the right information they need to do their job and at the right time ultimately leads to better care. That is why the focus of our first family of products we're building on the platform are related to anticipatory care. Initiated by the Resuscitation Council, the UK-wide ReSPECT process creates personalised recommendations for a person’s clinical care in a future emergency in which they are unable to make or express choices.

Currently a paper-based process, we are working with NHS Forth Valley to implement a digital version which will have its first release in Q1 2020. The application will then be rolled out to other boards on demand and extended out to include a wider range of anticipatory care plan models which are used across Scotland.  

Read more about ReSPECT and what it means for the National Digital Platform.

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Supporting a wider ecosystem

Alongside making applications ourselves onto the platform, our remit also includes supporting those made by others to integrate into the national infrastructure that we're building out. Current products we are supporting include a set of innovation projects which relate to asynchronous dermatology appointments, COPD and trauma centres. This is all in service of our creating a service which allows other parts of health and social care to use the platform with appropriate permissions.

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Covid 19 - Shielding Service

SMS Shielding Service

As a result of the Covid 19 pandemic, the Scottish Government issued guidance to  around 150,000 people in Scotland with certain pre-existing conditions, advising them to self isolate to protect themselves from the virus.

Known as "shielding", people who have a high risk of serious illness due to Covid 19 were advised to:

  • stay at home
  • minimise all non-essential contact with other members of their household 

Within a two week timeframe, NES Digital Service helped the Scottish Government develop a text messaging service to get groceries and medication delivered to the homes of shielding people. We've worked with the Scottish Government, Local Authorities and private sector partners to keep people safe from Covid 19 and we're proud to say that over 8,000 grocery parcels are now being delivered each day.

You can find out more about the SMS Shielding Service on the Scottish Government website and on NHS Inform (external links).

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Covid-19 Eyecare

The Covid-19 pandemic has severely restricted Community Optometry Services, with many closing their doors since controls to limit the virus were implemented. However, there’s still a need to treat patients in an emergency. NDS has been working with colleagues in NHS Grampian and NHS Forth Valley on the ‘Eyecare’ product – this service introduces a leading open source electronic patient record (EPR) for ophthalmology called ‘Openeyes’  onto the National Digital Platform, to enable virtual consultations with patients and to share the information needed to treat patients between optometrists and ophthalmologists. The service went live on 11th May and is already making a difference to Optometry services in NHS Grampian and NHS Forth Valley. Follow us on Twitter for more Eyecare updates.

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Covid 19 - Essential ACP (Anticipatory Care Planning)

The Covid 19 pandemic has also brought into sharp focus the need to have what can be difficult conversations, particularly around end-of-life care. One of NDS’s key projects has focused on the ReSPECT process – an application to help people digitally record how they wish to be treated in an emergency.  This ‘Essential ACP’ aims to improve the quality of information that gets shared in a patient’s Key Information Summary and to give some tips to professionals who have been asked to have these conversations for the first time. 

You can watch a summary of the project in the presentation below:


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SCI-Diabetes: Supporting Diabetes care across Scotland

SCI (Scottish Care Information) - Diabetes is NHS Scotland's national electronic patient record for diabetes care. The SCI-DC (Diabetes Collaboration) team has been developing and delivering digital applications for diabetes care since 2002. Initially developed as separate applications for use in primary and secondary care, a single unified single web based system was rolled out in 2014. The SCI-Diabetes team, till recently has been hosted by NHS Tayside. In recognition of its national role, the team has become part of the NHS Education for Scotland's NDS services family since November 2020.
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